Loyd Grossman 'devastated' by sauce botulism

The affected product is a Loyd Grossman korma sauce
Image caption The affected product is a Loyd Grossman korma sauce

TV presenter Loyd Grossman was said to be "devastated" after two children from the same family were treated in hospital for botulism poisoning from one of his sauces.

Health officials confirmed that two members of the same family from central Scotland are being treated in hospital.

Their illness was linked to Loyd Grossman branded korma sauce.

The sauce was made by Premier Foods at its factory in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

At present, evidence suggests only one jar was contaminated.

Affected product

The children affected, who live in the NHS Forth Valley area, were said to be in a stable and improving condition in hospital.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it was trying to establish if it was an isolated incident but warned people not to consume specific jars of the sauce.

The affected product is a batch of Loyd Grossman korma sauce in 350g jars, with a best-before date of February 2013.

The batch code is: 1218R 07:21.

Peter Schnabl, Mr Grossman's agent, said: "We just can't explain how this could have happened because there are security guards in the manufacturing process plus also the botulism should have been killed by the acidity of the sauce itself.

"It should have been killed in the cooking process, so we can't really explain it at this moment.

"People are looking into it. The FSA in Scotland are looking into into it in conjunction with Premier (Foods, the manufacturer)."

Speaking about Mr Grossman's reaction, he said: "Obviously Lloyd is quite devastated about it, as anybody would be.

"We are all furiously trying to get to the bottom of it."

A statement from Premier Foods said: "At this stage, we understand that the incident relates to a single jar of Korma sauce.

"There is no evidence of any broader contamination, no further reports of illness have been notified to the authorities and we have had no consumer complaints of illness related to this product.

"We are working urgently with the authorities to investigate the cause of this incident, including how the jar may have been transported and stored after leaving the factory."

Premier Foods said a "precautionary recall" of the specific batch code had been ordered.

'Blurred vision'

Botulism is rare in the UK. It is caused by toxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which attacks the nervous system.

The two children have been treated with antitoxins.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has notified health professionals throughout the UK to be on the lookout for people with possible symptoms.

These can include blurred vision, difficulty swallowing, headaches and muscle weakness.

Dr Kathie Grant, a botulinum toxin expert at the HPA, said: "Cases of botulism are thankfully very rare in the UK, although it can be a very serious infection in those that are affected.

"We urge the public to take heed of this message and ensure that they immediately dispose of this product and to be aware of the signs and symptoms of botulism."

The infection is not passed from person to person. Symptoms can occur between 12 and 36 hours after eating contaminated food.

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